Steps in 2022

H on playing the Childcatcher on stage

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Here’s an article from the Sunderland Echo; H spoke to the newspaper before his original run in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (19 May – 7 June 2008) as the Childcatcher…

YOU might know him better as H from Steps, but thanks to the magic of make-up Ian Watkins is Sunderland’s latest Childcatcher.

Ian, 32, has taken over from Wayne Sleep in the Sunderland Empire stint of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and is relishing the chance to play a classic baddie alongside Matt Baker as Caractacus Potts.

Ian, who lives in Wales, said: “This is very different to anything I’ve ever done before. I was a bit nervous but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’ve never joined a show half way through before but there’s a lovely family atmosphere and I honestly think it’s one of the best things I’ve been in.

“As a child the two things I was most scared of were Jaws and the Childcatcher, but I don’t have to do any method acting because the make up is enough.”

Ian spends half an hour in makeup to become the Childcatcher, hiding his hair under a bald cap and doning a pointy nose and an evil sneer.

The former pop star was due to join the Chitty wagon three years ago in the West End, but decided to go back to basics and signed up for a college course at the Royal Academy of Music.

He said: “I wanted to get parts because I was good enough – not by trading on my past.”

H begins his second stint in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on 3 July 2008, until 30 August. For more information go to

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